Hindus Want Place to Worship; Neighbors Worry about Land Loss

December 17, 2006

Author: Paul Wood

Source: News-Gazette


CHAMPAIGN - The highly educated diaspora of Hinduism is looking for a permanent home in Champaign County.

Hindus have met for years at the Urbana Civic Center, but they can't put up art works or other cultural signposts from the world's oldest religion in the temporary space.

Right now, they're looking at farmland on Dewey-Fisher Road (Mattis Avenue), just north of the Thor-O-Bred Acres subdivision in Hensley Township.

The proposed 6,500-square-foot temple would have a 63-car parking lot, a septic system and leach field just south of the building and a 4,400-square-foot lawn with ornamental plants.

But the temple has raised some concerns about drainage and high traffic from neighbors, who will have the chance to speak out at a February meeting of the Champaign County Zoning Board of Appeals, director John Hall said.

Two leaders of the new temple, University of Illinois professors Shiv Kapoor and Pallassana R. Balgopal, promise to be good neighbors wherever the Hindu Temple is built.